The association between retinal vessel morphology and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in an elderly population

Michael E Grinton, Augustinus Laude, Tom MacGillivray, Ross Henderson, John M Starr, Ian J Deary, Peter Aspinall, Baljean Dhillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between retinal vessel morphology (branching coefficient, bifurcation angle, and fractal analysis) and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in an elderly population.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and one participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (population of people all born in 1936) were studied. RNFL thickness measurements (using optical coherence tomography [OCT]) and digital retinal photographs were collected. The retinal images were analyzed using custom-designed software called the Vascular Assessment and Measurement Platform for Images of the Retina.

RESULTS: Greater deviation from the optimal arteriolar branching coefficient was associated with greater RNFL thickness (r = 0.249, P = .028). There was no significant association between RNFL thickness and the other retinal vessel morphology parameters.

CONCLUSION: RNFL thickness increased significantly with suboptimality of arteriole branching coefficient. These findings cannot be explained by our current understanding of OCT. OCT-based biomarker metrics require further study to better define retinal neurovascular imaging and anatomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S61-6
JournalOphthalmic surgery, lasers & imaging
Volume43
Issue number6 Suppl
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers
  • Retina
  • Retinal Vessels
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence

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